The 12th annual Festival of Wreaths online fundraiser benefitting the Lacombe Big Brothers Big Sisters runs through to Dec. 16. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

The 12th annual Festival of Wreaths online fundraiser benefitting the Lacombe Big Brothers Big Sisters runs through to Dec. 16. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

Big Brothers Big Sisters launches annual Festival of Wreaths

Benefiting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District, the 12th annual Festival of Wreaths is underway at the LMC.

Local organizations and companies decorate wreaths, which are then auctioned off on behalf of BBBS, said Brianna Berthiaume, executive director.

The Festival of Wreaths is in support of BBBS mentoring programs.

“This is our 12th year running this auction which will be live from Nov. 24th at 4 p.m. to Dec. 16th at 1 p.m.,” said Berthiaume.

“The wreaths are the hard work of our local businesses and organizations who choose the story and inspiration each year which is explained in each wreath’s description.

“We have 52 wreaths from different community supporters,” she said.

The wreaths are on display at both the LMC and the Abbey Centre in Blackfalds.

As mentioned, the funds support a variety of programs including in-school mentoring, teen mentoring, the Kids & Kops summer day camp, group mentoring, and community-based mentoring.

In 2022, BBBS has also been able to support more than 350 mentoring relationships.

Berthiaume said the wreaths are up until Dec. 16, and everyone is invited to bid online for different wreaths they like. Included with the wreaths are various products or gift cards from particular businesses as well.

The highest bidder then wins a beautifully-decorated wreath for the holidays.

“The community truly looks forward to it,” she said. “We have businesses and individuals reaching out to us long before the festival, asking us all about it,” she said.

Also coming up on Dec. 5 is the Great Big Christmas Dinner.

“Members of Big Brothers Big Sisters will be invited to the LMC. We put on some events that evening – of course, Santa will be here, and we will have different stations such as cookie decorating and other activities,” she said.

“We will also have a wonderful supper put on by Leto’s, and there will be awards and presentations. It’s also about just the celebration of mentorship this past year, and the journey that we have been on,” she said.

“Everyone is so thrilled that we are able to get back together.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe also covers Clive, Bentley and Blackfalds.

Prospective Big Brothers and Big Sisters can serve in several capacities – they can sign on as community-based mentors, or in-school mentors or they can spend time with their mentees at the BBBS location here in town (the Bamford House) which is located at 5103 – 49 St.

In-school mentoring involves one hour a week on school property. Both adults and teens can participate in that program (as mentors).

Mentors and mentees can also spend time together at the Bamford House.

Again, there is plenty of flexibility in making it all work.

For more information, or to bid on a wreath, visit lacombe.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

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